Please take a moment to watch this short video before reading.
For those of us who live with religious freedom in countries like the USA, these may look more like scenes from a movie… but they’re not. In countries where Islam, Hinduism, and even atheistic communism rule the land, Christians are persecuted every day. Jobs are taken, churches are burned to the ground, people are tortured, and lives are lost. But the people press on. They know that the God they serve is watching, like the three Jewish boys who were sent into the fiery furnace.
If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, Your Majesty can be sure that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.
These Christians who face daily persecution know that God has the power to rescue them, but even if He doesn’t they are faithful unto death. How can we look at these people and not call them heroes? These modern-day disciples are risking their lives to bring the Gospel of Jesus to those who would otherwise never hear it. How can we not pray for them? Especially when all they ask for is courage. They don’t ask for us to come in and bring aid. They don’t ask for us to intervene through politics. They ask us to pray that they will have the courage to be faithful through the persecution, because to lose Christ is worse than losing their lives.
One of the most recent, most horrific events happened in Orissa, India in 2008. Reports are still emerging about continued persecution there.
We must pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.